Miles hiked this section: 62
PCT hiked so far: mile 2660 – 308
Miles hiked so far: 2300+ ish
Perhaps because of the rattlesnake yesterday, or maybe because of all the camo-toting dudes lurking with rifles in the shadows of opening deer season weekend… This morning I feel creeped out walking in the dark. I somehow fall slightly behind the crew… They burst out of the gate at a strong 3mile per hour pace. In the trees I imagine sleepy mountain lions attracted to my sputtering headlamp. I start to sing an old spiritual and awaken a hunting dog next to two tent sillouttes. At sunrise I find Huck Groucho and Twinless eating snacks overlooking the valley before us. It’s all downhill from here. Well… At least the next 22 miles to Cajon Pass. Groucho says, “I think we should try to make it by 2:30pm”. He wants more physical challenge if we are going to slack pack. We agree. The morning flies by. Mile after mile we walk and jog and snack and chat. Around 11am I break away from Twinless who wants to go a bit slower and jog down the hill, singing and dodging little sprigs of poodle dog. Bug meets me at the bottom of the climb with a water refill… Before the last 5 miles. It is 1pm and I learn the fellas came thru 20 minutes ago. I ditch my pack and take only a wind jacket, snack, phone, water bottle and umbrella. I feel like a clown juggling these things and a hip belt which is now too small and slides down to my knees every 5 minutes. The sun scorches my calves and torso despite my seasoned umbrella maneuvers.
A mile before Cajon pass The trail turns under a railroad trestle and I notice a human sitting inside… Maybe homeless, maybe adventuring. Who knows at this point? Then the trail dives into the earth in a concrete dark creepy tunnel under the freeway. I think this would be a perfect place for murder.
At 2:45 I am at CajonPass bypassing the the McDondalds and heading straight to the Best Western where we have 2 rooms, cable and access to a hot tub and pool. It is a good night.
I blog over continental breakfast at the best western. After 3 repetitions of the morning news, we secure the remote and watch “Coming to America”. We head out at noon, stopping by the Chevron to buy more unnecessary snacks and loiter in their shade. By 2pm we are still there and conversation begins to flirt with staying another night. Oh no. Town vortex. This is not the town you want to vortex in with only 3 gas station convenience stores and a McDonald’s. Groucho bravely gets up to go and everyone reluctantly follows. We only have 13 miles to get to camp and it passes quickly but my shoes are suddenly possessed by the devil. I calculate with horror I have worn them over 500 miles already and they have lost their will to live. I take them off and there are rocks embedded in the soles of my shoes… on the inside. We send an emergency text to Groucho’s mom to send new shoes. Also I develop a belly ache. I’ve eaten too much peanut. PBJ, PB pretzels, Nutz over chocolate Luna bar, Justin’s peanut butter cups, peanut butter packet, and a bag of lime flavored peanuts.
Around dark we get to the dirt road where the car is waiting and Bug has brought pizzas!! We camp in a little sheltered area near trail.
Groucho and I leave a few hours early today so we can spend QT with my California beauty/cousin Kelly this morning. She lives 10 minutes from trail and we meet her at a road crossing around 10:30. She brings snacks and we eat almost an entire loaf of bread while visiting in the back of her truck. It’s awesome to have these rare familial magic visits along the way.
Around 1pm we get back in trail and hike up to the famed Deep Creek hot springs in the dead heat. It’s super hot. Blazing. And the trail is covered in trash. Groucho finally grows sick of it and starts collecting garbage. By the time we arrive at the hot springs his grocery sack is half full of empty water bottles.
Deep creek is a magical, glorious place once you adjust to all the nude , gold chain-wearing, wrinkled men. We enjoy the hot spring and cold creek for several hours before finding camp up stream.